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Protest Law: High Court Says Article 10 Is “Unconstitutional”

The article, which allows the Interior Minister to cancel scheduled protests, was deemed a constitutional violation.

Egypt’s Higher Constitutional Court deemed Article 10 of the controversial protest law, which allows the Interior Minister to cancel scheduled protests, “unconstitutional.”

In a session today, the court considered two lawsuits against the legislation, which had been filed by rights lawyers Khaled Ali, Ali Ayoub and Tarek Negeida, among others, Al Ahram reported. These law suits challenged the articles that require prior notification for protests, as well as those giving police the right to ban or postpone protests that are considered a “threat to security and peace.”

In its reasoning for annulling Article 10, the court said protesters only need to notify authorities of the place and the date of the protest, as well as and present the documents stipulated by the law. The prohibition of a protest by authorities, once all documents have been submitted, would represent a “constitutional violation,” the court said.

The protest law, strongly criticised by local and international rights groups, was issued in 2013 and has led to the imprisonment of thousands of youth activists and protesters.

However, appeals on articles 7, 8 and 19 of the protest law - which stipulate a minimum of one-year in prison for breaking the protest law and  fines of EGP 50,000 – were rejected by the court.

Photo Credit: Lilian Wagdy, Creative Commons license.